Crude Review

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30,000 Ecuadorians versus Chevron/Texaco, following the oil giant’s alleged poisoning of the rainforest and its inhabitants.

★★★★★

Despite the title’s suggestion, Crude is not another 11th-hour call-to-action eco polemic, nor is it an indictment of the oil industry. Rather, adopting the non-intrusive sensibility that helped make his Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster so fascinating, director Joe Berlinger here observes the case of 30,000 Ecuadorians versus Chevron/Texaco, following the oil giant’s alleged poisoning of the rainforest and its inhabitants.

It’s no tub-thump, and Berlinger admirably keeps his focus on the human level, particularly crusading local lawyer Pablo Fajardo and his partner, Steven Donziger. Berlinger’s ‘lean forward and listen’ approach is low-key but effective.

Not exactly genre-bending innovation or anything but a decent documentary about an important episode in history of oil company exploitation.